Camila Domonoske

Empty streets, makeshift barricades, burning tires, signs scrawled with "No to dictatorship": Protests continue on the streets of Venezuela as a 24-hour general strike takes hold, the latest development in an ongoing political and economic crisis.

Some citizens are trying to go to work despite the shutdown of public transportation; others are taking to blockaded streets in protest. There is widespread fear of more bloodshed after months of conflict and dozens of deaths.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

A small, humble-looking bag received its moment in the spotlight today. It traveled to the moon and back, then sat forgotten in a museum basement. It was seized by officials who didn't know its value, sold unceremoniously to a keen-eyed space enthusiast, then battled over in court.

Then the lunar collection bag from the Apollo 11 mission — and the tiny bits of moon dust embedded within it — hit the Sotheby's auction block.

As Poland's ruling party moves to take control of the country's high court, protesters are taking to the streets and European Union officials are warning of the possibility of sanctions.

There is fear, both within and outside of Poland, that a proposed measure would upend an already-weakened system of checks and balances.

The BBC has released salary information for its on-air talent for the first time, igniting simultaneous debates over the size, and the fairness, of the salaries — particularly over a conspicuous gender gap.

The public broadcaster has always included executive salaries in its annual report*. But this year, the government required the public broadcaster to reveal what the highest-paying presenters and actors make, too.

The resulting list includes approximate salary ranges for all 96 radio and TV staff making more than $195,000 a year.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

A woman in Saudi Arabia was arrested and questioned by authorities after a short Snapchat video showed her wearing a skirt and crop top in the desert heat.

Her outfit would be unremarkable in the U.S., but it violated Saudi Arabia's strict, conservative dress code for women. The footage went viral online over the weekend.

The city of Boston is launching a poster campaign to fight Islamophobia by encouraging bystanders to intervene, in a nonconfrontational way, if they witness anti-Muslim harassment.

Starting Monday, the city began installing 50 posters around the city with advice on what to do if you see Islamophobic behavior. The posters recommend sitting by a victim of harassment and talking with them about a neutral subject while ignoring the harasser.

On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, the Bank of England has unveiled a new banknote featuring the beloved author.

The new notes, made of polymer, will be entering circulation in September.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is serving a 15-month prison sentence for hush money payments to cover up sex abuse, has been transferred to a Chicago facility in anticipation of an Aug. 16 release.

Hastert started his sentence at a Minnesota prison hospital last June. Now, records from the Federal Bureau of Prison indicate Hastert is currently at a "residential re-entry management field office" in Chicago. Hastert's transfer was reported by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, speaking to U.S. governors this weekend, told the political leaders that artificial intelligence poses an "existential threat" to human civilization.

At the bipartisan National Governors Association in Rhode Island, Musk also spoke about energy sources, his own electric car company and space travel. But when Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, grinning, asked if robots will take everyone's jobs in the future — Musk wasn't joking when he responded.

Yes, "robots will do everything better than us," Musk said. But he's worried about more than the job market.

There's young wine. There's mature wine. And then there's the wine stashed away at Liberty Hall Museum in Union, New Jersey.

The museum's wine cellar includes several cases of Madeira wine that were imported as long ago as 1796. The museum says some of the Portuguese wine was ordered to celebrate the presidency of John Adams, the second president, who took office in 1797.

The Liberty Hall Museum is a grand old home that was inhabited by two prominent New Jersey families for generations before it was converted into a museum.

Instead of sentencing a woman to jail time for laughing during Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing, a D.C. judge threw out the woman's conviction and called for a new trial.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot in mid-June by a gunman targeting a congressional baseball practice, has returned to fair condition after receiving surgery for deep tissue infection.

In the days immediately after the shooting, Scalise was in critical condition; a bullet wound to his hip that caused "significant damage" to bones, organs and blood vessels. After several surgeries and weeks of progress, his condition was upgraded to fair and he was moved out of intensive care.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The death of the Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who died on Thursday while serving an 11-year prison sentence, has prompted an outpouring of grief and rage around the world.

Liu, 61, was a lifelong advocate for democracy and freedom who was jailed by the Chinese authorities multiple times. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, while he was imprisoned.

The U.S. refugee program surpassed the Trump Administration's 50,000-person cap on Wednesday, meaning that many refugees will now be denied entry into the country.

A Japanese military history buff has found library records showing a photo supposedly depicting Amelia Earhart survived a crash landing in 1937 was actually published two years before the famous aviator vanished.

The photograph in question was featured in a History Channel special and received widespread media attention. Here's how NPR's Laurel Wamsley described the discovery of the image:

We'll give it to you straight: If President Trump slaps a tariff on steel, the U.S. bourbon industry might be left reeling.

Trump has long vowed to impose tariffs on some imports, and his administration has recently focused on the steel industry. A blanket tariff on steel wouldn't just hurt China, the frequent target of Trump's trademark trade tirades. It would also deal a blow to allies such as Germany.

Eight people have been arrested in Greece, and two of them have been charged with murder, after a young American was beaten to death outside a bar on the island of Zakynthos.

Bakari Henderson, 22, of Austin, Texas, was beaten by a group of at least ten people, according to media reports. He died on Friday, and the arrests were announced over the weekend.

Cardinal George Pell, an advisor to Pope Francis, has returned to his home country of Australia to face allegations of sex abuse in years past.

Australia announced the charges against Pell late last month. Pell says he is innocent and promises to fight the charges. He has taken a leave of absence for the trial, but says he plans on returning to his powerful post in the Vatican.

Sheila Michaels, who played a key role in bringing the title "Ms." from obscurity into mainstream use, has died at 78, according to the New York Times.

Michaels' lasting impression on the English language was inspired by a letter to Mary Hamilton — a woman who, separately, made legal history by successfully demanding to be called "Miss."

Lawmakers in Illinois have enacted a budget for the first time in more than two years, overriding a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner and overcoming a last-minute delay at the Capitol.

The crucial override vote was delayed after authorities received a report of possible hazardous materials, prompting an investigation, The Associated Press reports. "A woman allegedly threw a powdery substance in Rauner's office," the wire service writes, citing the Springfield fire chief.

Under pressure from the growth of online retailing, TV shopping giant QVC intends to acquire its rival HSN Inc. in a $2.1 billion deal.

The merger, announced Thursday, would create a company with $14 billion in annual sales, NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

Updated 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday, July 6

After two years of unpaid bills and dwindling cash reserves, lawmakers in Illinois have finally managed to break a stalemate and reach a long-overdue budget deal — which was promptly vetoed by the governor.

An appeals court in Washington, D.C., has blocked an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to delay Obama-era methane regulations, rejecting claims by the EPA that the oil and gas industry wasn't allowed to comment on the rules.

The agency could choose to rewrite the rules, but it overstepped in trying to delay them for years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided.

Independence Day is dedicated to patriotism, but celebrated with beer and explosives. So it might not be a shock that every Fourth of July, America sees a massive spike in fireworks injuries — especially among children and young men.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

The judge in the sexual assault case of comedian Bill Cosby has declared a mistrial. After several days of deliberations, the jury could not come to a unanimous agreement on whether Cosby drugged and molested Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University, at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

But this does not mean an end to the high-profile case: Prosecutors immediately said they will retry the case.

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